About Kerala - History Geography Culture Food Tourism

History of Kerala
According to Dahsavthar stories of Hindu mythology, Kerala was recovered from the sea by the axe-wielding warrior sage Parasurama, 6th avatar of Vishnu. Mahabali, an Asura, Puranic character and a prototypical king of justice, ruled the earth from Kerala. History believes that there is some relationship between Indus Valley Civilization and Kerala during the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. Travancore and Kochi were merged to Indian Union on 1st July 1949. Under the States Reorganization Act, Kerala was formed on 1st November 1956.

Geography of Kerala
Kerala is located on the south west region of India. Kerala surrounded by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and the Lakshadweep Sea. Kerala houses forty-four rivers and round eight percent of country's waterways are found in Kerala. Kerala is spread in 38863 sq kms, making in the 13th largest state in the country. Kerala has a coastline of 590 km and its width varying 11 to 121 kms.

Government and Administration of Kerala
For administration purpose Kerala is divided into six divisions and 14 districts. United Democratic Front and Left Democratic Front are the two major political alliances in the state. Kerala High Court takes care of Jurisdiction in the state of Kerala and Union Territory of Lakshadweep. Kerala legislative assembly consists of 141 seats. Kerala contributes 20 members to the Indian Assembly in which two are reserved for Scheduled Castes. Because of the strong labor unions, strike and bandhs are common in state.

Language and Culture of Kerala
Kerala’s culture is a mixture of Aryan and Dravidian cultures. Koodiyattom is a form of Sanskrit drama and it has it place in UNESCO as designated Human Heritage Art. Kathakali is the classical dance form of the state. Kummattikali is famous colorful mask-dance, performed during the festival of Onam. Katakhalei, koothu, Kannyar Kali, Oppana are some of the important dance forms in the state. Carnatic music dominates Keralite classical musical genres. Sopanam is native Kerala music which provides background to Kathakali. Melam and Panchavadyam are also the native forms of Kerala music. Kalarippayattu is the famous maritail art form of Kerala which is gaining worldwide attention. The elephants are an integral part of Kerala and they have prestigious place in the state's culture. Malayam is widely spoken in Kerala followed by Sanskrit, Tamil, Pali, Urdu, Arabic, Hindi, English, Marathi, Punjabi, Konkani and Gujarati.

Educational Status of Kerala
Literacy rate of Kerala is 93.91% which is the highest in the country. Kerala became the first state in India, in the year 1991, to be recognized as a completely literate state. The Kerala School of astronomy and mathematics attempted to solve astronomical problems, which created a number of mathematics concepts including results series expansion for trigonometric functions. Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Darul Huda Islamic University, Kerala Agricultural University, Aligarh Muslim University are some of the universities in the state. Kerala houses premier educational institutions like Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, IIIT, NIT, IIM.

Economy of Kerala
GSDP of Kerala was Rs. 3,96,282 crores in the financial year 2013-14. Kerala's economy mainly depends on emigrants working in the Gulf States. Half of Kerala's people depend on agriculture for income. 600 varieties of rice are used as staple food in Kerala. Coconut, coffee, tea, rubber and spices are the important crops in the country. Kerala produces 60% of the global white coir fibre. Kerala became the first state in the country to have at least one banking facility in every village on 1st October 2011. Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram is the largest IT employer in Kerala which employs around 35,000 people. It was the first and largest technology park in India. With 590 km of coastal belt, 400,000 hectares of inland water resources and 220,000 active fishermen, Kerala is one of the leading producers of fish in India.

Tourism of Kerala
National Geographic Traveler named Kerala as one of the ten paradises of the world. Kerala is known for its ecotourism initiatives and beautiful backwaters. Kerala has a coastline of 580 kms which have many famous beaches, which are attracting tourist from round the globe. The backwaters are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast. Houseboat which are locally known as Kettuvallam, rides in the backwaters are a major tourist attraction in the state. They are many hill stations in the state like Munnar, Vagamon, Paithalmala, Wayanad which are having an average elevation of 1500 meters from the sea level. Idukki district alone has about 50 waterfalls including small and big waterfalls. Traditional medical system like Ayurveda and Siddha are the pillars of medical tourism which are attracting tourist in large number.

Festivals Celebrated in Kerala
Onam is the biggest festival of the state. Onam is celebrated during the Malayalam month of Chingam. The Sree Padmanbha's Arattu is a Royal Procession of Lord Sree Padmanabha, the presiding deity of the Temple, which happens twice in a year. Apart from these all the major festivals in India are celebrated.